JetBrains's JVM language debuts!

Project Kotlin unveiled to the public

Chris Mayer

The aim for Kotlin – Java-compatible but faster, safer and concise. In other words, a Scala simplifier.

Just over a year since the first real steps towards their new
language project, JetBrains have revealed the first public preview for Kotlin.

The statically-typed JVM-targeted programming language is
now available to test via a code editor at Kotlin’s Web
Demo page
, allowing users to really get to grips with the
nuances behind the code.

From there, you can view Hello World examples, the popular 99
Bottles of Beer examples plus some problem solving to be done,
ranging from simple to complex. It’s all there to have a play with
anyway. Just run your code on a JVM running on their server, so
that you can use familiar JDK classes or alternatively, you
compile your code to JavaScript and run it in your browser

Hello World


fun main(args : Array<String>) {
  System.out?.println("Hello, world!")


When Kotlin was announced, its place within the JVM was fairly
clear. It is stated within the documentation that Kotlin was created with the
following design goals in mind:

The last one is especially relevant, given recent heated
discussions over where Scala should head next, now it has at least
a community endeavour behind it. That’s really the next step for
Kotlin – to generate enough buzz for those wanting to use it. They
did state that their work on this wouldn’t
affect anything to do with Scala plugin, so it is good to know that
they aren’t stepping on Scala’s toes. More an interpretation of it.

It has some bold aspirations, but there’s always room for one
more language. Certainly, if any team deserves to be standing
alongside Scala and Groovy, it’s JetBrains.

The compiler is being created alongside the IntelliJ IDEA. Lead
language designer of Kotlin, Andrey Breslav gave a little teaser
into what we can expect in the near future:

  • Standard Library of extension functions
    that make using JDK collections and other common APIs more pleasant
    (things like map()/filter() and so on);
  • Code Challenge: currently we offer a few
    sample problems in the form of code snippets containing test data.
    This will be extended to contest-like automated testing
  • Much more examples.

Keep an eye on the demo for further updating in the coming weeks
– there’s plenty more for Kotlin to show us!

comments powered by Disqus